Gone were the days when youth scramble for a job to start a secure life with a stable source of income and career growth.
Modern-day youngsters see the future in entrepreneurship as getting stuck in a job amounts to the slow erosion of talent, freedom, innovation, and space to grow. So, the bug of entrepreneurship has caught the fancy of all.
No wonder, many universities have factored in the new trend and incorporated entrepreneurship courses in their syllabus.
In this context, the recent words of famous entrepreneur Elon Musk assume significance. He urged people to view knowledge as a semantic tree and grasp the fundamental principles as they are the trunk and big branches before moving to tiny leaves that are detailed. He cautioned, else, there will be nothing for them to “hang on to.”
Musk's message is clear that whether contemplating to start a business for the first time or attempting a new type of business, the important tool is knowledge, any time and every time.
For budding entrepreneurs, a business degree is an asset as it gives the confidence to grow in any setting as they are armed with the knowledge of business plans, goals, funding sources, incorporation methods, dynamics of the stock market, and issues that impact the business climate.
There are also undergraduate business degrees that give a grounding on accounting, economics, marketing, finances, market research, human resources, and business law, etc.
Many campus programs are on offer handholding students, faculty, alumni, and the community into the entrepreneurial mindset. Universities are encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to start businesses, social organizations to serve society.
They aim for supporting educational programs that render advice to policy-makers and entrepreneurs. Some academic papers that studied entrepreneurship traced at least 7 reasons why people are trying to become entrepreneurs:
Many motives are driving entrepreneurial spirit. One is the dissatisfaction with the current workplace that can frustrate the dreams of any new graduate.
Poor pay, bad boss, discrimination, whimsical hiring, and firing, layoffs, forced retirement, plus no big opportunity for advancement. Research says the Great Recession layoffs led to a rapid increase in business start-ups and heightened business ownership.
The technology boom created thousands of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and elsewhere as professionals addressed the challenge of solving problems with technology and many successful companies including Google, Facebook, etc
A super motivation seeks self-expression with a desire to create. There are chefs, graphic artists, musicians, clothing designers, vintners, and builders who became entrepreneurs to express their creativity, skills and solve challenging problems.
Independence and autonomy are compelling human desires. Entrepreneurs set goals, pick their partners, and face the consequences of decisions. The number one benefit is the freedom to follow own dream in business.
Many new entrepreneurs are driven by the next "unicorn" dream. It is about winning a privately-held company with a huge valuation and bringing wealth and financial security escaping the drudgery and slogging in traditional employment.
More than capital, the right domain knowledge is the key to business success. According to a study, nearly 80 percent of businesses flop because of cash flow problems.
A good entrepreneur anticipates risks and mitigates them. Getting a degree in finance and accounting can help in foreseeing risks and managing them. There are useful courses like online BSc Economics and Management run by the London School of Economics.
The University of California, Irvine Continuing Education department has a course on the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, including entrepreneurial process and spotting business opportunities. It is for at people with little to no knowledge of entrepreneurship to emerge with the tools to start their own business.
The rated entrepreneurship course by massive open online course (MOOC) provider Coursera is aimed at those with great ideas but without a business background.
Entrepreneurs have to be well-versed in the mechanics of marketing to stay competitive. The rise of internet marketing has broadened opportunities to reach a wider audience without spending much.
A marketing qualification is an asset for a budding entrepreneur to learn more methods, identify a target market and develop suitable marketing strategies. They also know how to use social media platforms effectively in targeting the right audience groups and measure ad campaigns.
They also create a unique value for gaining a competitive edge to drive market share, launch promotions, and tasks that help future business ventures.
Good entrepreneurs are multi-taskers and know the art of creating a target market, building brand awareness. They make workable strategies and will take on competitors in the market including niche markets and go on to creating a unique brand image, brand voice, and value proposition.
Marketing programs teach ways of building a good brand image and gaining an edge on competitors with a strong brand voice well received by the target market.
In entrepreneurship, an individual’s aptitude and choice of industry are important factors.
The basics may be the same as all entrepreneurs are self-starting professionals. A broad understanding of the business domain will add to the confidence in making critical predictions and tackle every business operation smoothly.
A business degree will help entrepreneurs solve complex problems with insightful solutions. Entry barriers are another factor for consideration before entering a market.
A study that evaluated entry barriers has found professional, scientific and technical Services have the least barriers to entry. Other verticals are Construction and Retail trade.
In professional, scientific, and technical services 38 percent of businesses start with less than $5,000 lowest startup costs. It notes that real estate and leasing businesses operate without employees in the starting phase to avoid barriers on hiring, training, and payroll system.
To conclude, the goal of entrepreneurship must have incubation right from the college including offline and online courses. As Elon Musk said if the knowledge base is strong then making a customer base with a new business will not be difficult.